What our Refreshment Programme guests say
"God has spiritually nourished me for the new season that he's inviting us into"
Trey Clark, Pastor in California, USA
"I went home having discovered a new chapter in my life"
Beat Hoffmann, Reformed Church Minister in Switzerland
I was looking to discover more about fresh expressions of church and explore questions about the church in a changing world. The staff members of the institute from the University of Greifswald, Germany, recommended that I go to the UK for the second part of my sabbatical. I found a link to Ridley Hall in Cambridge about pioneer ministry and context-based learning and I applied.
Arriving at Ridley, I was impressed to see the way of life and faith in community. To eat, to chat, to worship, to pray, to play together, students and tutors, is for me an appropriate way to explore and to deepen theological learning, exemplary for other countries.
I had the opportunity to visit different fresh expressions of churches in and around Cambridge, to follow courses about pioneering and evangelism and to speak to different staff members about different biblical topics. The stay at Ridley was encouraging for my ministry and the spiritual life with chapel services and fellowship groups helped to deepen my faith. I went home having discovered a new chapter in my life.
"Spiritually I believe I grew in Christ"
Roberta Brown, Nurse
I was so glad I made the decision to take a sabbatical at Ridley Hall. It was very much part of my spiritual journey. Time at Ridley gave me the chance to put off the distractions of this life and concentrate on my relationship with my creator.
Spiritually I believe I grew in Christ and also gained a new perspective on the wider Christian community. I enjoyed the spiritual dimension of Ridley with prayer, devotions and chapel services. Highlights for me would have to be the prayer weekend, and the communion services every Thursday night, which were very inspiring with their diversity and amazing worship.
I also gained an appreciation of the Anglican tradition and the diversity of worship in the Anglican church. I appreciated the great mentorship and support I received once I started writing. It was very helpful getting feedback and I was encouraged to persevere with my writing goals.
Everyone was so welcoming and I felt very much part of the Ridley family. It was great getting to know the ordinands and their families, as well as the teaching staff. I was inspired by the different ordinands and their desires to serve God and the Anglican church.
"It enabled me to seek a profound renewal within my own vocation"
Sabbatical guest on the Refreshment Programme
Having the opportunity to engage in worship, prayer, and dialogue with those studying for ordained ministry enabled me to seek a profound renewal within my own vocation.
Having served the last 10 years in diocesan ministry with a weighty task of addressing congregations in conflict and working with clergy that violated their ordination vows, my own sense of hope for the church and its leadership was diminishing.
Being in community with those who were energetic about evangelism and the proclamation of the gospel changed my approach when entering conflictual situations. I am mindful of my own renewed peace that passes all understanding. Such love has changed the ability to reconcile the conflict.
"The ability to focus on my writing while at Ridley helped immensely"
Study leave guest on the Refreshment Programme
I have gained a good feel for what is like to be part of a residential college in Cambridge, as well as coming to a better appreciation of what is happening in the Anglican Church.
Also, the ability to focus on my writing while at Ridley helped immensely in finishing a project which was waited for just such an environment. Thank you for a wonderful time!
"I was welcomed as a brother in Christ and into the family"
Robin Ziegenfuss, Pastor in Nebraska, USA
What I appreciated most about my time at Ridley was the welcome and accepting attitude from the students and faculty. I was not treated as an outsider at all, but rather, welcomed as a brother in Christ and into the family.
The encouragement of the faculty and the relationships developed with students helped me refocus my ministry and evolve to a healthier state of mind.
"The chapel times were perfect moments for reflection and prayer"
Dr Timothy Gombis, New Testament professor, Michigan, USA
I had a tour of the grounds and had all my questions answered. And staff and students were very welcoming and helped me understand how Ridley functioned and where everything was.
I most appreciated the ease of use of everything, the warmth of the community and the ease with which everyone made me feel part of everything.
I felt my time at Ridley was useful because it allowed me plenty of time for quiet reflection, long walks, and use of the library for writing. Also, the chapel times were perfect moments for reflection and prayer.
I felt the whole experience was restorative for me, mainly in allowing me to get away and write and reflect.